I took a little holiday from here and I really hope you don’t mind. Two weeks away from this space in the middle of spring-to-summer felt a bit indulgent and lazy until I realized that hey, I was never aiming for an endless conveyer belt of super-pretty-health-fun-wow-tasty-vibes with this site anyway. Almost three years of creating and sharing here, and I think I finally just grasped what the point of it really is.
I’ve always firmly believed that each person, each entity, is enough as is. We’re all pretty miraculous as lives living right here. It might be our work in life to wake up and just realize that one truth, to get to that state of pure feeling and experience–no words or actions necessary, nobody remembers those anyway. Moving forward from that accepted self means not being reduced by some of the more challenging episodes of the everyday, but instead just being and becoming. You do what you can with what knowledge is available to you, and next time? You’ll do it better just by virtue of having walked in that beautiful and probably messy path.
It’s easy to admire the beauty of something that smacks of completeness, but I’ve always been more interested in growth and how we get to there as a community, even if the “there” changes and moves along. How we work together and relate to pull ourselves out of a difficult spot or a challenge, I’m into that. I love reading and watching interviews with chefs, master carpenters, explorers, makers of all stripes, and people who just DO THINGS because their stories inevitably weave a rich-as-fuck tapestry of experience and lessons from their surroundings. They took their sense of selves, realized the might, made themselves a student of their community/environment, and in turn uplifted some portion of humanity. The mind that shifts and is able to see differently is something to behold.
So we’re always growing together over here. Maybe it’s a new kale salad technique, a new spice, some all-too-human recounts of events and feelings felt. I love that we can all interact over something so simple as a possible bite to eat between hello and goodbye, and on the internet to boot. Just great. Today I grilled an avocado and my sense of time and place went a little wild. So delicious! Its natural shape is perfect for a little stuffing of sorts, so I went to work on charring a few more things for that component. Some marinated tofu, pungent broccoli and a sweet lemon and mildly curry-ish sauce for smothering. The curry part was an accident too, the little bag of it selected when I intended to reach for ground cumin. No need to cope with the error because man, it’s good. Bright, warming, and lightly sweet. I found the whole dish a little strong/rich in terms of mouthfeel, so the sauce is in there to help along with some diced apricots that weren’t quite ripe. Just a touch of pucker to make it work and go pop.
I always feel compelled to dream up some kind of wholesome, feel-good grilled main for y’all this time of year. I know full well that the inclination is just rooted in what I want to eat since we’re creeping up on summer, but it’s also a bit of a counter to the sauced meat-laden magazine covers everywhere right about now. Surely this can’t STILL be feeling like a new thing, right? Eat your vegetables and show ’em what you’re made of :) xo
charred broccoli + tofu stuffed avocados with sweet curry lemon sauce
notes: Some cooked grain in this mix would be yummy if you’ve got some around. Also, swapping tempeh for tofu could be delicious. If you don’t want to bother with making the sauce, I think some super classic/classy barbecue sauce would be so, so proper.
charred broccoli, tofu + avocados:
1/4 cup olive oil + extra
1 tbsp dijon or grainy mustard
1 clove of garlic, peeled + sliced (optional!)
2 tbsp chopped chives + blossoms if you’ve got ’em
big pinch chili flakes
5-6 sprigs of thyme, leaves rough chopped
2 tbsp lemon juice + zest
salt + pepper to taste
ground cumin to taste
1 package of extra firm tofu, cut into 1/2 inch slices
2 stalks of broccoli, stems removed
3 firm, but ripe avocados
1-2 barely ripe apricots
sweet curry lemon sauce:
2 tbsp lemon juice
1 strip of lemon zest
1/2 tbsp dijon OR grainy mustard
1-2 tbsp maple syrup OR agave nectar
1/4 cup diced red onion
fat pinch of mild curry powder
small pinch of ground cumin
splash of filtered water (more or less depending on desired consistency)
salt + pepper
1/2 tsp tamari soy sauce
3 tbsp-1/4 cup olive oil
In a small bowl, whisk together the olive oil, mustard, garlic, chives, chili flakes, thyme, lemon juice, lemon zest, salt, pepper and cumin. Set aside.
Lay the tofu slices in a large dish and cut the broccoli into florets. Add the broccoli to the dish with the tofu slices. Pour the marinade mix over the tofu and broccoli. Cover and refrigerate, allowing to marinate for at least 1/2 and hour.
While the tofu and broccoli is marinating, make the sweet lemon curry sauce. Combine the lemon juice, lemon zest, mustard, maple syrup, red onion, curry powder, cumin powder, water, salt, pepper, tamari, and oil in a blender and blend on high until you have a completely smooth mixture. Check the sauce for seasoning and place in the fridge while you grill
Preheat your grill to high. Cut the avocados in half, and remove all pits. brush the exposed surfaces with oil and season with salt + pepper. Set aside.
Start laying the tofu and broccoli on the grill. Cook until char marks appear on all surfaces, carefully flipping pieces of tofu and broccoli over here and there for even cooking. Remove all tofu and broccoli once it’s sufficiently cooked/charred. Place avocado halves on the grill and cook until char marks appear. Remove and place on a serving platter.
Chop up the tofu and broccoli into small pieces and toss together in a medium bowl. Dice up the apricots and add to the bowl as well. Toss with some more chopped chives or chive flowers if you want and spoon into the grilled avocado halves. Finish with drizzles of the sweet lemon curry sauce.